Saturday, June 2, 2012

Adam and Eve Sneaking Back into the Garden of Eden to Steal More Apples

I haven't been drawing in my sketchbook much lately – as the dearth of recent blog posts will attest. Instead I've been preparing for a show I'm putting up at the Elmhurst Art Museum outside Chicago in a couple of weeks (opening June 15th). The show will mostly be drawings and includes the largest drawing I've probably ever done, a 5' x 8' leviathan with the above title, which can be seen, dimly, in the background of the photo on the left. In addition to the drawings I'll be showing one painting and a 28 foot long hand made accordian book called Rage of Poseidon. The book compiles a number of stories adapted from my sketchbooks, all stories of familiar gods and angels, including ones about Isaac and Abraham, the Devil, Leda and the Swan, and one where Jesus tries to pick up Aphrodite in a bar. The stories are coupled with silhouetted imagery, a technique I picked up a few years back as a quick way to create a slide show from the Poseidon story when Joe Meno had asked me to do a reading with him for the release of his book Demons in the Spring. Born of laziness the technique seemed to work unusually well with the subject matter. I ended up reading the pieces several more times including at stops on the book tour for Big Questions when it turned out that slide readings of comics – especially long silent sequences of sad and sickly birds crawling around in the grass exchanging curious looks – was a little awkward.

Making the accordian book has been as  epic a wrestling match as figuring out how to navigate a 5' x 8' drawing turned out to be – when one's line is as thin and airy as mine. Between the two I feel like I'm being ground into the mat and getting my head stapled by Mickey Rourke. How do you fold a 28 foot piece of paper into 48 separate pages evenly? How do you keep the glue at the hinges from warping the paper? How do you attach the damn thing to its cover? I have been repeatedly reminded why I started out in 1999 xeroxing drawings I didn't expect anyone to like on the cheapest paper I could find and stapling them together in a pile. That took an afternoon. In the process of making Rage of Poseidon I had to relearn how to screen print in order to make the covers (see above). I also found out that it's basically impossible to print accurately on both sides of a 44" x 84" piece of paper using an Epson 9880, but that it is possible to cut rolls of that paper into 9 inch wide strips on a chop saw... though in the end those rolls of paper turned out to be useless for other reasons.

To close out the post I'm attaching a few images of studies for the big drawing. The first two are of Adam and Eve and the general composition. These are followed by a number of studies of some australopithicenes who make their home in the garden. This little duo also show up in one of the stories in the accordian book that features Prometheus. I just can't get enough of that little guy with the cats. I'll be back in Elmhurst on August 17 to give an artist talk and do some readings from the book.

1 comment:

Robert Hagedorn said...

No apples. Google First Scandal.